We need commercial media institutions to continue fighting to protect the First Amendment. We need strong nonprofit advocates to support citizen and independent journalists. We need journalists to stand up for each other on city streets and in the halls of power. But more than anything, we need to understand that we all have a stake in the First Amendment — and a role to play in defending it.
That’s why I’m going to continue tracking journalist arrests — to bear witness, to broaden the community of concern and to use the tools of media making to empower more people as advocates of our shared First Amendment rights.
It’s too late for this firewall between political activity and commerce to be asserted. If Citizen United enables corporations to spend unlimited amounts on elections, the natural next step is economic attacks on corporate political participants. Chick-fil-A may be legally entitled to build stores and do business, but that is a small part of the battle. There are still protests, boycotts and all sorts of other things that can be done to impact a business. If the board room is going to go into political battle on scale now happening, it has to expect the political forces to counter attack.
Last year my liberal newspaper column was forced out of the community weekly newspaper by a right wing group which made threats against the advertisers. That effort was probably ultimately funded by the Koch brothers, who largely funded the tea party in SC. There were three conservative columns in the paper. If David Koch feels entitled to choose our President, we won’t be buying his Brawny paper towels ever.
We’re headed towards a general engagement of the entire culture and everyone from the Boy Scouts to Starbucks is going to end up on one side of the other. It’s going to be ugly and destructive. Meanwhile Exxon can destroy the planet while we’re busy fighting over Gay Marriage. Citizens United opened the political field to unlimited corporate spending and an expansion of conflict, which naturally has forced the opposition to commit every available resource to any tactic which might be effective. This is the second phase of conflict. There are five. The last is where one side can’t fight anymore. Phase three is a further expansive of destructive conduct. Phase four is the conclusive application of maximum destructive force by the winning side.
A comment in reply to In Defense of Chick-Fil-A by Adam Serwer
I used to care about things that principled, but right wing ideologues have proven themselves to be so intellectually dishonest, so far beyond being shamed to correct their ways that it seems to me to be a wasted effort to conduct one’s self with more dignity and integrity then they do. The way that Chick-fil-A lied about the Muppet toys being defective is a perfect example of that. The Cathy family allege to be Christian but, inexplicably, they sink to apostasy after The Jim Henson Company abruptly and acrimoniously ended their business relationship. One would think that the Power of Christ in the management of Chick-fil-A would have given them to strength to restrain themselves to say nothing or to release a blanket statement stating “sorry, no more Muppet figures” without having to lie about the matter.
Add that to the right-wing’s overt disregard for democracy and civil rights, I find it hard to give a damn about their rights.
The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling Tuesday involves a dispute at Neuqua Valley High School. A teen sued in 2006 after school officials blacked out the words “Not Gay” on her T-shirt. The incident happened the day after a “Day of Silence,” which was held to draw attention to the harassment of gay students.
Koala editor Kris Gregorian declined to discuss the matter yesterday unless offered beer.
This month’s Parade of Stupid White People at the University of California, San Diego is set to fester in to March. I’m dumbfounded by the responses where the words political and correctness are strung together in objections to the objections, as if any protected speech deserves to be dignified, too.
- How much did the parents of these students leave out of their upbringing for these kids to be both the 12.5% highest achievers in high school while knowing nothing about human dignity?
- More specifically, what did Gregorian’s parents leave out of his upbringing to remind him what his forebearers endured a century ago, never mind the differences in taste and talent between The Koala and The Onion or The National Lampoon?
…the dumbth of it all